“I Want To Hope!”

During a conversation with a coaching client, she shared that she tested positive for Covid. My client had been COVID-free for two years… Since the beginning of the pandemic. After all this time, she was COVID-positive –even with the booster. As you can imagine, or know firsthand, various emotions began to emerge. We took some time to let her express these emotions.

Then I asked her what she wanted in 2022. To which she replied, “I want to hope, to focus on goodness, to be an instrument of goodness.”

“Yes!”, I said, “Let’s do that!”


Many of us want hope in 2022. The new year is a perfect time to restore and reconnect with hope by setting goals. According to American psychologist, Charles Richard Snyder, hope is:

  • The ability to articulate a goal
  • believe you can achieve the goal
  • act on the goal
  • achieve the goal
  • feel good about the process.

Likewise, Annie McKee, Co-author of Primal LeadershipResonant Leadership, and author of How to Be Happy at Work, defines three components of hope:

  1. A vision
  2. A path to achieve the vision
  3. A healthy dose of self-empowerment.
Before moving into the how of setting goals, let’s start with the importance of hope for leadership.


In their book, Resonant Leadership, Richard Boyatzis and Annie McKee, write about how leaders need to have hope. Hope nurtures your emotional and social intelligence. Additionally, hope helps you feel refreshed. When you hope, you’re more ready to connect with other people. It is an antidote to the buildup of chronic, daily stress that leads many to burnout, which causes us to become ineffective leaders. Hope helps you to thrive. Moreover, it helps you to be an effective and impactful leader!


We know from Gallup’s research on Strengths Based Leadership (Tom Rath and Barry Conchie) that we want our leaders to generate hope. Providing us with something to look forward to, a pathway through complex times, and enthusiasm about the future.

If you are able to generate hope for yourself, you can generate hope at work! Review your leadership strengths in the book referenced earlier to see how to do this in your own unique way.


Hope promotes positive emotions. People who express positive emotions are clear, open-minded, and flexible thinkers.  They have more energy than people who feel negative emotions such as anger or fear. Problem-solving is one of their strong points and is achieved with greater ease. Moreover, they are more creative than their less than hopeful counterparts.

Additionally, they have more empathy. There’s a strong need for more empathetic leaders in our world today. Empathy is an important part of being human. It helps us understand others’ feelings and needs. We all want to be understood by those around us. When we’re able to empathize with someone else, it makes them feel better about themselves.


Goal setting is crucial for having hope in our personal lives. A strategy to generate hope in our workplaces is a must. So, we come away from our interactions feeling restored and connected with others. It helps us become better leaders.

Here are a few ideas to approach goal setting.

  1. Assess the dimensions of your life:
  • Career
  • Fun and Recreation
  • Money and Finances
  • Physical Environment
  • Personal Growth
  • Health and Wellbeing
  • Friends
  • Family
  • Significant Other
2)If you like, more deeply assess the dimensions of your career:
  • Recognition
  • Satisfaction
  • Relationships
  • Communication
  • Creative Self-Expression
  • Results
  • Career Development
  • Climate and Culture

3)Because they mean different things to different people, specify what each of these dimensions means to you. 

4)On a scale of 1-10, indicate how satisfied you are with each of these dimensions. One is not very satisfied and 10 is completely satisfied.

5)Based on these scores, select 1-3 priorities to develop goals around 2022. If you select “career” as a top priority, you may want to look more closely at the specific dimensions of your career on which to focus (define these dimensions for yourself).

6)Document the current state of each priority. What does this priority look like in your life today?

7)Document the future state of each priority. What do you want this priority to look like in December 2022? This is/these are your goal(s) for the year! Make your goals SMART: Specific; Measurable; Attainable within the year; Relevant to your values, life purpose, and who you want to be in the world; and Time-based (Dec 2022).

8)For each goal, identify action steps to move you from the current to future state.

9)If you have career-related priorities, consider how to integrate them into your professional assessment/development plan at work.

10)Revisit your goals on a regular basis. Consider putting “goals check-in” at a regular time on your calendar for the year so that they stay top of mind and heart! If your goals are not in your heart, consider finding new goals!

NOTE: Adapt any of the above to meet your unique needs.

Can you Help Others?

What are your thoughts and actions related to goal setting and hope? 

What, if any, strategies can you share that help you generate hope and movement forward during the year?

Feel free to comment below.

If you prefer to reach out directly, you can email me at kris@krisrisley.com.